UN: Lebanon killings probably linked

The death of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon killed in a 2005 car bombing, is probably linked to the murders of at least 14 other political figures in the country, a UN investigator says.

    Brammertz: Syria's co-operation 'generally satisfactory'

    Serge Brammertz, the UN chief investigator into al-Hariri's death,

    said his team had found "potential linkages" between the cases regarding the "methods" and "intent".

    "[The cases] were not commissioned and executed by 14 disparate and unconnected persons or groups with an equal number of separative motives," he said.

    However, he said that the cases needed more thorough investigation and that Lebanon needed assistance in terms of technical and forensic assistance.

    Brammertz told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that Syria's co-operation with the investigation had been "generally satisfactory".

    Syria has been accused of involvement in al-Hariri's death but has denied all responsibility.

    US criticism

    Earlier this week, Brammertz asked for the UN inquiry into al-Hariri's death to be granted a one-year extension.

    Al-Hariri's death led to mass
    protests in Lebanon

    Al-Hariri was killed in February 2005 when a car bomb exploded by his motorcade in Beirut. Another 22 people were killed.

    His death, which many Lebanese blamed on neighbouring Syria, led to mass protests on the streets of Lebanon's capital and the eventual withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country after a 30-year presence.

    After his death, several Lebanese politicians and public figures were killed, including Gibran Tueni, the anti-Syrian MP and journalist, and Samir Kassir, an anti-Syrian writer.

    Both were killed in car bomb attacks.

    On Wednesday, John Bolton, the US ambassador to the UN, said that Brammertz's report showed that Syria was still not co-operating fully with the UN panel, arguing it was "hardly a ringing endorsement".

    Fayssal Mekdad, the Syrian foreign minister, countered that the main challenge facing the investigation were attempts to put pressure on Syria and force the panel "to jump to prejudgments which are not based on clear evidence or truth".

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.